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Identity Theft Letter to Creditor - Do It Yourself

Authored By: Legal Services State Support
Contents
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Click "Proceed" above to get to the guided interview. If you only want the letter by itself, click "PDF" below.

Step 1

About this Program

Welcome! This free program helps you create a Letter to a Creditor when your name is on a bill that is not yours.

The program works by asking you questions. It uses your answers to fill out your letter. You can print your letter and send it to the creditor.

It should take only 15-30 minutes to get through the interview. If you don't have enough time to finish, save your answers by creating an account with LawHelp Interactive. You can create an account now or any time during the interview.

Before you start the interview, you need to read the instructions on the next 4 tabs. 

To continue, click on the green Step 2 tab above.

Step 2

What Is Identity Theft?
Learning the Basics

Identity theft is the most common consumer complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) annually. If you have been the victim of identity theft, it could mean someone has used your name to:

  • make purchases,
  • get credit cards,
  • rent an apartment, or
  • obtain utilities without your permission.

In some cases, thieves may have received medical services in your name, re-routed your tax refund, or even impersonated you during contact with law enforcement.

Identity theft may also include someone using checks on your account. This could be from stealing your checkbook or electronically obtaining access to your checking account. use of an ATM card or credit card that you did not approve is also identity theft.

In some cases, identity theft occurs within families to children, seniors, and domestic violence survivors, making reporting and recovery especially difficult.

How Might It Impact Me? 

Even if you are able to resolve a financial identity theft issue with your bank, this use of your name and credit history can result in you getting collection letters for things you did not purchase.

It can also result in unfavorable entries on your credit report, causing you problems in getting credit or paying a higher interest rate.

Becoming the victim of an identity theft can be a complicated and frustrating time in your life.

What Can I Do?

The Federal Trade Commission has created letters (in this booklet) that consumers can use to notify a debt collector or credit bureau of the theft of your identity.

To use the letters, you must first report the crime of identity theft to the police. You do not need to know the name of the person who used your identity. You show the police the debt collection letters or other confirmation that you are the victim of this crime.

You can also visit the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network to learn more.

To continue, click on the green Step 3 tab above.

Step 3

When to Use this Letter

You should send a letter to a creditor anytime a creditor is directly collecting their own bill. This might be a credit card statement you received that contains charges you didn't make or authorize. It can also be any situation where your credit or identity was used without your permission.

What Information Do I Need to Create the Letter? 
  • A copy of the bill that is not yours. You will need this when you start the interview.
  • You will also send these things with the letter you create:
    • a copy of the identity theft report that the police gave you when you reported the identity theft;
    • a copy of your credit report that shows the charges you did not make; and
    • a copy of your proof of identity with your letter.

Do I Need to Contact Anyone Else?

  • If a company or law firm that is a Debt Collector is trying to collect a bill that is not yours, create a Letter to a Debt Collector.
  • If you need to ask one of the Credit Bureaus to investigate and remove an item from your credit report, create a Letter to the Credit Bureaus.

To continue, click on the green Step 4 tab above.

Step 4

What Does Your Computer Need?
This interview will only work on a desktop computer. If you only have a mobile device, go to a library or other location with a desktop computer and printer. If you are at a library, you can skip this step of instructions. Public computers already have these programs installed. If you are using your own computer, make sure your computer has the following:

1.   Microsoft Word or Word Viewer

If you don't have Microsoft Word, you can use Word Viewer to view, copy, and print your forms (but it won't let you make changes.) Click here to get Word Viewer for free.

(Note: Microsoft Word Pad is not the same as Microsoft Word and will not work with this program.)

2.   Adobe Flash Player

If you don't have Adobe Flash Player, click here to get the newest version for free.

To continue, click on the green Step 5 tab above.

Step 5

Click "Proceed" above to get to the guided interview. If you only want the letter by itself, click "PDF" below.